Obscure Sound: Best of June 2010

As tomorrow nears, many music fans doubling as party hosts may question whether a particular artist will be received well at their party. The answer is dependent mostly on the arriving guests and their tastes, so creating a perfect mix tape is somewhat impossible unless you explicitly state you’re hosting something thematic like a Brit-pop BBQ (which would be an awesome idea that I would attend, by the way). If I have one word of advice to give in this regard, it is to loosen up. Finding universally likable songs for a random collective of people is unrealistic, so the best you can do is deliver the right amount of infectiousness while avoiding most signs of dark emotion, even if that sacrifices a showcasing of artistic integrity. Realize that it is a party and not a means to show your musical depth, but rather something to get people loose along with the open bar and quality conversation. It may sound like common sense, but I am surprised at how many party hosts show no regard for other party-goers, also doubling as listeners.

This compilation is certainly not a quintessential mixtape for July 4th, but I do believe it offers several tracks that will go very well with a typical party on that date, even without the money-centric emphasis on patriotism. The-Dream, of course, is a great choice with his refreshing take on R&B, with tracks like “Love King” and “F.I.L.A.” showing his supreme chops. ’60s pop throwbacks in the vein of The Secret History and Viernes should provide the right dose of nostalgia and modern relevance, while Ariel Pink’s masterful Before Today seemingly capitalizes on several decades of music with its eclectic brand of pop music. These are all interesting listens for guests, without being too ambitious or “weird” for people that just want to catch up and chill to music, with focusing on the artistic merit of said material (even if it is prevalently there). Additionally, the likes of Tokyo Police Club, Wavves, and The King Khan & BBQ Show offer guitar-driven rock throwbacks, while Uffie and Kamp! provide the right dose of infectious electro-pop for when the hot sun sets and the fireworks begin.

01.  Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Round and Round (post)
02. Kamp! – Heats (post)
03. The Divine Comedy – Assume the Perpendicular (post)
04. The Secret History – Our Lady of Stalingrad (post)
05. The-Dream – Love King (post)
06. Wavves – King of the Beach (post)
07. First Aid Kit – Hard Believer (post)
08. Viernes – Glass Windows (post)
09. The King Khan & BBQ Show – I’ll Never Belong (post)
10. Uffie – MCs Can Kiss (post)
11. Tokyo Police Club – Favourite Food (post)



Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

Send your music to [email protected].


  1. hey there, this is a very cool blog that i will be checking in with. we record a lot of indie at our studio as well like st. vincent and baroness. thanks for the blog!

  2. @StealyDan: Who’s stealing? Promoting artists’ work on a blog so that more people will discover their music (and potentially buy their albums) hardly seems like stealing, imo.

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